Archives On The Air 221: Travails on the Trail — Charlotte E. Allis Diary

Oct 19, 2020

Charlotte Allis left Beloit [Bu-LOYT], Wisconsin in April 1854 on a wagon journey.

Her destination was Montecristo, California. She set out to join her husband, a gold prospector. He had made the journey to California in search of gold in 1853.

Charlotte kept a diary of her observations as she traveled more than two thousand miles along the Overland Trail.

Her diary reflects the many challenges of the trip. She describes "wind blowing so hard that we could hardly keep our carriage right side up" and swarms of mosquitoes.

Traveling as many as 40 miles a day, conditions were rough and storms frequent.

Charlotte reports nearly drowning when their wagon was stranded in the middle of the Loup Fork in the Platte river.

See the Charlotte E. Allis Diary to learn more about the challenges of traveling west at UW's American Heritage Center.